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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936

    "I have never hit anyone before!"

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    I was commuting to work on my bike for the first time this year and seconds before this happened I was thinking "This is wonderful!" and "My heart is beating again!" after a month of taking the bus. It was all great.

    I was on this bike route where there are push buttons for cyclists to change the light at major intersections (10th avenue, for local Vancouverites). I got to an intersection where the light was already green for me. I accelerated. Two SUVs were stopped on my left, and this Honda Civic was coming slowly on my right. Unfortunately, it didn't stop despite my screaming. When I realized that he would not stop I accelerated enough that he hit only my rear wheel, not my legs. (That would have sucked.) I went down spinning, somehow, and fell on my left side. And I was ANGRY (but calm).

    As I was standing up, a guy in a SUV rolled down his window and yelled, "It was solid red!!!" Thanks.

    Nothing broken on me or the bike. The car driver stopped and although he didn't seem especially troubled by the fact that he just hit me he offered many times to take me to the hospital and just gave me all the information I wanted. He seemed genuinely surprised that there was a light there, he said something about driving there every day and never hitting anyone! !!!!! Note: I was wearing this screaming orange and yellow safety vest and a bright blue jacket underneath. In broad daylight.

    I was pretty shaken and annoyed, but otherwise the ride to work was still pleasant after that. Sadly, I discovered that my helmet was damaged in the crash, which will mean a significant expense to replace it (despite Bell's crash replacement program). I would rather not have called the insurance company, but I don't want to pay $100 out of my own pocket because this guy doesn't look when he's driving. And I forgot to take his phone number in the process.

    I was debating whether to tell my husband - he's a worry wart - but now that I have to replace the helmet, I'll have to.

    The good thing is that the insurance lady was really nice. It was worth holding 10 minutes on the line.

    Ok, it's off my chest now, I can get to work. Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    around Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,250
    Grog -
    Glad you're OK. Did you do a police report? You should do a police report.

    Hope tomorrow morning, when the achies start showing up that you're still feeling OK. What part of running a red light did the Civic not get?
    Beth

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,309
    WOW Grog!!
    Yes, you need to tell hubby!
    I'm glad your ok, and you did the right thing by calling the insurance co.

    And I'm kind of glad the helmet has visible signs, because that way you will be sure to replace it. People sometimes don't realize that they should ALWAYS replace their helmet after a crash.
    Oh- and PM me if you need help with the helmet. I "know" people ya know...
    Rest up, your owies will probably fester and really set in by tomorrow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    What an idiot, hopefully he never hits anyone again! Glad you are mostly okay.

    DH has stopped commuting between my work and his due to time, I now drop him off and he rides home in the evening. He said the other morning he dropped me off and was a bit under the weather (fever night before and that night) he noticed how he was not really alert. It SCARED him because he used to cycle the road yet he felt he wouldn't notice a cyclist that morning. There is no bike lane on he road. It is a sad realization as a cyclist even we get distracted in the car.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    35
    That's awful! I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt. I agree about the police report.

    Your story title reminded me of the guy I broke up with several years ago. His eyesight was nearly gone, but he insisted on continuing to drive. When I would argue with him about how dangerous that was for himself and others (and refuse to ride if he drove) he would say "I've never hit anyone yet!"
    Becky

    "To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    "I drive through red lights all the time and never hit anyone...." DUH.

    Glad you are basically ok. Good for you for calling the insurance company. And it wouldn't hurt to get yourself checked over by a doctor. I would not be surprised if you are bit sore tomorrow.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    737
    Glad you're relatively unscathed. What a scary feeling. I always flinch when I see a car flying up to a stop sign on a side street. Even if they stop, I'm never certain they're actually going to look, and really look, before they continue with their turn.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dorset, England, UK
    Posts
    1,037
    Thankfully you are here to be able to tell us, could have been worse.

    It is even more ironic, after I read your thread Riding Safety and Dorkdom

    I think it was so bad, the attitude of that guy!

    Maybe you should tell your husband, he would probably be so upset if he knew and you had not told him.

    Anyway, so pleased you are OK.

    Clock
    Clock

    Orange Clockwork - Limited Edition 1998


    ‘Enjoy your victories of each day'

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Wow, glad you're okay.

    Don't feel bad about calling the insurance company. He'll at least have to think about being more careful every time he pays his insurance premium, for at least a couple of years.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,336
    10th and Granville?

    Good thing you or the bike weren't hurt! It's amazing how non-chalant some drivers are when it comes to cyclists. Granted some cyclists kind of bring it on themselves when they do stupid things, but not if you're in an intersection. And damn right he should have to pay for your helmet. If he knew better he would've left you his phone number not to involve ICBC, but his own fault.

    My boyfriends hates that I commute, too. He was so happy when it snowed and I couldn't ride

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    Thanks all for the kind words.

    But your stories of semi-blind or -comatose drivers freak me out! The insurance lady said, "It's getting scary riding a bike in Vancouver, isn't it?" and I said, "No, actually, I'd rather be on my bike because I have more ways to escape. The drivers are really courteous, IF they see you. But most of the time they're just not paying attention." She agreed, "they're in la-la land." *sigh*

    I do expect to be sore tomorrow morning and to have a big purple bruise on my thigh. Actually I feel the exact same as the time I took a spill on frosty pavement about a month ago. The insurance lady laughed when I said I was good at falling. Thank God, because right now a broken wrist would be a catastrophe - I need to finish writing my PhD thesis!!

    Now I'm having second thoughts about not calling the police. It didn't cross my mind at that time, and I wish I had asked the guy in the SUV to stop and give me his info. But I don't expect him to contest the claim, he'll most likely just pay out-of-pocket instead of dealing with ICBC. I must say it's nice to have a central, public insurance company. It's not my-lawyer-against-your-lawyer unless there are serious damages involved. And I was in a rush to get to work.

    Any Canadians have input on the importance of calling the police if there is nothing broken? What do drivers do if they just rear-end each other at low speed, for example? Maybe I'll call the non-emergency number just to be in the stats of cyclists hit by cars this year.

    By the way, Badger: 10th and Fir.

    *sigh* Ok, back to work.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Quote Originally Posted by Grog View Post
    your stories of semi-blind or -comatose drivers freak me out!
    Oh you have no idea. The thing I always emphasize is that their not seeing you has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR BEING ON A BIKE. It's only that they assume (usually correctly) that the cop, prosecutor, judge and/or jury are not cyclists, and so "I didn't see them" becomes a valid excuse. The truth is, they don't see ANYTHING (and the authorities and triers of fact need to stop it with this idea that you become invisible the minute you get on two wheels).

    Just last week someone rear-ended a fire truck with lights flashing in my area. The latest news is that although she will be charged with careless driving (assured clear distance in other states), she will not be charged with violating the move-over law, because two witnesses also didn't see the fire truck's lights and a third one said he "could barely see them."

    Every couple of weeks someone rear-ends a school bus. A carload of kids rear-ended a garbage truck in the spring. They don't see ANYTHING. I've said it before, but that's why I nickname my hi-viz gear "Exhibit A." They still won't see me, but they'll be less likely to get away with it.


    ETA: I don't know about Canada, but in the USA insurance won't pay unless you file a police report.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 01-12-2009 at 01:45 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,336
    I wouldn't bother with the police. They won't do anything. If he had hit and run and you got the license plate then it's another matter, but he did stop and you got some relevant ICBC info. Believe it or not the police apparently have other things to do, which baffles me because I see them all the time at Starbucks!!

    I once was hit as a pedestrian on Drake/Pacific. I had the green light and my dog and I were running across the street when I got hit. Luckily my dog was to my left or he would've taken the brunt of it. I took out the woman's side mirror and the force knocked me down on top of my dog (he was ok). I look at it as both lucky and unlucky. Lucky that I only got away with bruising to my thigh and my dog was ok. Unlucky in that I got hit at all. A split second either way would have had very different and one possibly catastrophic ending.

    The woman obviously stopped and was shocked but very cooperative. She said she'll follow whatever I decide to do. I was originally going to just do out of pocket, but people told me to go through ICBC. I've heard so many horror stories of ICBC but I had a very good experience. They gave me everything I asked for (chiropractor, replacement of my new jacket).

    So, long and short, I wouldn't bother with police, they won't do anything.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    The point of filing a police report is not for them to "do anything," it's so the insurance company has your sworn statement on file and an easy third party way to have you prosecuted if you're defrauding them. That's why in the USA they insist on a police report. As I said, I don't know about Canada.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,336
    I honestly don't think she'll get anywhere by reporting, and in fact, I don't even know if they'll take the report. Things do work differnently here. Minor fender benders don't require police reports.

    When I was mowed down, police wasn't involved at all, nor was it necessary for me to file the insurance claim.

 

 

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